HAZELWOOD, Mo. - Call it the $250,000 interception, as postal inspectors in Hazelwood sniff out packages filled with pot.
Those bags of marijuana were heading to the Metro East, and now, two men are charged.
On Hickory Lane in Bethalto, it's another kind of grass that got the attention of drug agents. At a house there and at another in Godfrey there were special deliveries, pot packages worth about $250,000. But the plan went up in smoke when the eight packages made it to a Hazelwood sorting hub.
"This package was emitting a strong odor of marijuana and that alerted postal inspectors to take a closer look," said Postal Inspector Dan Taylor.
Taylor says dryer sheets the premium marijuana was wrapped in to mask the smell didn't work.
Drug investigators with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois let the deliveries go through and arrested Jason Peterson and Salvador Perez when they say the men picked them up. Investigators say the California men had them delivered to the homes of acquaintances in the Metro East who were not involved in the deal.
Taylor says last year postal inspectors, along with the Illinois agents, seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana and only expect more now that Colorado and Washington legalized the drug.
"We are seeing an increase in the amount of high quality marijuana and this really is originating from some of these states where it's legal, but it's still illegal to ship it," said Taylor.
The pot was discovered in November, but some of the documents relating to the case were just released.
Investigators say the men intended to sell the drugs in Nashville.